(Feb 14): Current attention is focussed on the newly named Covid-19 coronavirus. Coverage ranges from the realistic to the hyperbolic so it is easy for investors to lose track of the underlying and long-lasting impacts. Now is the time to consider portfolio rebalancing and that does not mean chasing high-flying biomedical stocks. Rebalancing means adjusting exposure to long-term assets that will continue to be impacted by this virus outbreak. The gaming rooms at Marina Bay Sands are at immediate risk, but the legal and semi-legal online gaming portals will take up the slack – perhaps on a more permanent basis.

Exposure to airports and airport services calls for a reduction by cashing out and waiting for a recovery entry point in a few months’ time. Banning flights to and from China has been an easy step but the potential to ban cargo ships from travelling to and from China is a much more difficult process. If Japan refuses to allow cruise ships to dock because they have coronavirus cases on board among passengers and crew, then what happens when a container ship arrives with infected crew members?

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